Brooklyn-born actress Theresa Saldana appeared in Raging Bull and on the TV series The Commish; she founded the Victims for Victims support organization. Her fiction debut, The Almost Murder and Other Stories (Piñata Books, 978-1-55885-507-6), features five tales of Latina teenagers undergoing notable change. One is picked for a reality television show by a producer who sees her hamming it up on the subway, and another must find new purpose after a facially disfiguring accident. The title story pivots on high drama when a Nuyorican girl witnesses her jealousy-crazed father trying to end her mother’s life: “The knife slid out of his grasp, but he snatched it back. Mindless of blood dripping down his face, he staggered to Mom, trapping her between the fridge and wall. Knife raised, he slurred ‘Puta’ again.” Saldana favors early crises and unusually complete wrap-ups.